…and what will happen when it no longer becomes cost effective to source from the Far East?
These are a couple of the questions that I have been asking myself over the last few years.
Having worked in fashion design and buying for the past two decades I have seen a seismic shift in the way that the clothes and accessories that we buy in the UK are sourced.
When I worked at Burberry in the late ’90s there was still a factory manufacturing trench coats downstairs in the head office, as they had done for over a century. Fast forward ten years and Burberry, an iconic British brand, had closed all of it’s production units in the UK bar one, claiming that they were no longer commercially viable.
In my last role, as a buyer for a UK department store, all of my ranges were manufactured in either China or India. Yes, prices were low and margins were high, but lead times were long and flexibility was hard to come by. Samples took ages to arrive and if they weren’t right it would be weeks before reworks were sent.
I wanted to find a way to support UK manufacturing. Could I set up a website bringing all of the brands together? and would anyone want to buy something just because it was made in Britain? Would I miss the direct contact with the factories that I had before? After all, I had spent the last twenty years designing and developing product, and that was the part of my job that I loved the most.
This blog will report my ongoing mission to support the manufacturing of clothes and accessories made in the UK. Please follow me on my journey…